You’ve probably heard that rest after exercise is vital, but are you dedicating the same discipline to your recovery time as your workout regime and diet? While it seems counterproductive to prioritize quality down-time, rest and recovery can not only elevate your fitness but also your overall performance and mental well-being.
So, if you want to improve yourself both physically and mentally, it’s worth thinking carefully about the quality and quantity of your down-time. Our latest blog post is all about recovery – to help you understand why rest is so important and what recovery is to us.
Cornerstone #3: Recovery
Even though the human body is a biological machine designed to be used, worn and pushed, it also needs periods of restoration in order to recharge and rebuild. Unfortunately, recovery is often getting overlooked and forgotten.
But it is scientifically proven that recovery or down-time does not jeopardize performance and well-being. In fact, in order to get the full benefit of physical activity and create balance in your everyday life, the human body also needs sleep and rest.
The way people feel when active also depends on what happens during rest or sleep. And even though recovery doesn’t always mean doing absolutely nothing, the importance of sleep quality or listening to old records and relaxing should not be underestimated.
In summary, rest days:
- give your muscles a chance to grow
- reduce the risk of injuries
- can help you keep being motivated
- can help improve your sleep
- can help reduce stress
Using the basic principles, we talked about in our first blog post How to achieve a healthier lifestyle with four cornerstones, recovery to us is:
Quality: To recover optimally, your body needs nourishing food, good sleep and quality movements for active recovery.
Sustainability: Make it a habit to prioritize recovery since it is an essential part of a long term, healthy lifestyle.
Natural: A walk in nature is great for recharging your batteries. A Game of Thrones marathon might be fun, but it’s not as recuperating.
Variation: There are two types of recovery; passive and active. For active recovery, try yoga, walking, swimming, stretching, massage, soft tissue treatment or mobility.
Guide: Bedtime routine to optimize your sleep
The best form of resting is sleep as your brain restores and your body follows suit. Even though this is obvious, so many of us do not get enough good, quality sleep.
To encourage healthy and consistent sleep, try to think about your sleep-and-wakeup schedule, pre-bedtime routine and bedroom environment using our simple guide below.
If you don’t already have a sleep routine, implementing all of these “strategies” can be overwhelming but remember that it’s not all-or-nothing - you can pick and choose (or combine) the ideas that appeal to you the most. If you start with small changes and work your way up toward healthier sleep habits, then it’s more likely that it actually will become a routine.
Next Cornerstone - #4: Balance
Our final blog post of this cornerstone series focuses on how to mentally balance your inner self, what tools to use and what impact it has on our daily lives. Our very own founder Oliver also shares a guided video meditation exclusively for you. Read it now.
Missed our previous cornerstone blog posts? Read them here:
#1: Healthy Diet - How to Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle with just Four Cornerstones
#2: Physical Activity - How to Incorporate Physical Activity into a Busy Life